Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Perils of Zombie Education

I am sharing an article about education written by William J. Astore, the editor of the Opinion Section of Consistent with, Truthout's guidelines for  re-printing articles, I'm sharing only three paragraphs of the article. The rest can be viewed in the link I've provided below this blog.

If we view education as an ephemeral commodity in a world of goods, so too will our students. They'll lump it together with all the other trivial, product-based, corporate-funded information with which they're constantly bombarded. Critical thinking? Informed citizenship? Boring. And could you shut up a minute? I need to take this call/send this tweet/update my Facebook.

Staring vacantly into electronic gizmos as they shuffle to and from class, students are already halfway to joining the zombie ranks. Let's not infect them further with commodity-based zombie education.

What is to be done? History is a guide. Consider the words of John Tyndall, eminent rationalist and promoter of science. In “An Address to Students” in 1868, or 145 years ago, Tyndall opined that:

"The object of [a student's] education is, or ought to be, to provide wise exercise for his capacities, wise direction for his tendencies, and through this exercise and this direction to furnish his mind with such knowledge as may contribute to the usefulness, the beauty, and the nobleness of his life." 

Link to the article:

photo courtesy of


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Like a Sweet Kiss

I thought that yesterday was going to be just another day.  But things turned out differently.
As I buckled down to work on my real estate transactions, a friend phoned and invited me to go to the warm pond in Kapoho, which is about 15 minutes from my house on the east side of the Big Island of Hawaii.
Officially called the Ahalanui State Park, the warm pond is  a giant outdoor hot tub.  It is spring-fed volcanically heated water that is sometimes at a therapeutic 90 degrees. The water never gets too hot. At one end of the pond is an inlet which brings in salt water from the Pacific Ocean.

Fringing the pond are tall palm trees through which, during some nights, a full moon weaves magic  on the softly rippling water.

There are grassy areas, picnic tables, barbecue grills and an out-door shower.

The place  was one of my late husband's favorite spots on the Big Island of Hawaii. Michael and I used to go there every afternoon to swim and picnic. Sometimes, Michael would do yoga on the grass and stand on his head. Other times, we would just watch how the light played with the trees and the water. We soaked in all the good energies everywhere.

I made sure, after Michael passed on, to scatter some of his  ashes on the ocean.  Michael's ashes also rested for eternity on the grassy patch where  he used to practice yoga.

Yesterday as I was preparing to spend another work day, a friend invited me to a picnic at the warm pond. I surprised myself in quickly taking on the invitation without any second thought.

Later, I thought it a poignant kismet to be at the Warm Pond enjoying a sunny, feel-good and peaceful afternoon on Michael's very birthday.

It was like a really  sweet kiss from everyone and everything.





- Ariel Murphy

Thursday, June 27, 2013


I could see that  for the rest of my life I would be working as a messenger.
So help me God!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

If You Go Away

If you disappear from my life....
- I'd be in bed sooner than 3 AM.
- I'd have the cups of Lychee jello  in my refrigerator all to myself.
- I'd have to find a Scrabble group as I'd not be able to dance as often as I do with you now.
- I'd no longer have to wait for you to arrive 3 hours after you said you would.
- I'd have more quiet time.
- Yet,  I'd be talking to myself and often and repeatedly about the same topic if only to make it like you're still around.
- I can  no longer bill you for  therapeutic services rendered.
-  I make you laugh but in your absence I'd have to make myself laugh instead.
 - I'd be insanely sane.
- I'd be missing my instances of wonder at the universe's playfulness, humor and wisdom  in sending you along my path.
- And I'd be severely deprived.

Thank you for being in my life. I love you!
- Ariel Murphy

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

Gallery: Photography of Hanspi Schar

I am sharing the striking photography of Hanspi Schar of Switzerland. I had previously featured his work in my blog February of this year. Please enjoy the art of Hanspi Schar.

Ariel's Note: Hanspi Schar lives in the Emmental region of Switzerland. Hanspi has a passion for photography and for collecting stones which he turns into jewelry and sculpture.  For more of his photos please click on this link to his website:

- Ariel Murphy

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Connections and Attractions

You know you have
a spiritual connection
with the other
when both of you see
 beyond each other's
weaknesses and blemishes
and celebrate
the true, good, noble
all the beauty
that make man
human yet divine.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Coinicidences and Synchronicity

Puzzled by by a series of "coincidences" that have happened to me lately, I received yesterday an article about synchronicity which I thought I'd share with you.  The article was sourced from Earth, We are One.  Links to the article and videos are provided at the end of this blog.

Synchronicity for someone on the spiritual path is that moment in the fabric of time when we suddenly and briefly become consciously aware that we have made a deeper connection with the universe or that which is greater than our individual self. Those not yet familiar with the concept of synchronicity would most likely pass off these moments as mere coincidence. 
The theory was first presented by the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. He proposed the idea that when multiple, meaningful occurrences happen, it is not coincidence but a type of psychological and spiritual experience intended to guide your soul force into motion.

A synchronicity is designed to give us a push in a general direction. In what direction may not be initially revealed but with a trusting connection to our intuition the path can sometimes be obvious but it is up to us as individuals to make the decision to follow.

Synchronicities are responsible for bringing people and events into our lives seemingly at just the right time. This is why they are considered by many to be nothing more than coincidence, however there is no such thing as coincidence if you believe in synchronicity.
Although synchronicity has never been scientifically proven it certainly doesn’t mean it does not exist. Intuition cannot be scientifically proven, neither can many spiritual concepts but most if not all people have at some stage in their lives seen how their intuition has guided them in some way. They may not know how it could have possibly happened but known for sure that something unexplained scientifically most definitely took place.
Synchronicity is like gravity in a way, you can’t see it but it is definitely there and the more you open yourself to becoming aware of synchronicities as they appear in your life, the more of them you will notice.

Carl Jung believed as many others do today that you are responsible for your own synchronicities. Your habitual thoughts on both a conscious and subconscious level combined with your day to day actions cause you to manifest synchronicities into your life in a manner directly related to the law of attraction.  
Subconsciously you know what you want and through your subconscious beliefs you attract events or synchronicities which if followed will lead you to places where you will learn the important life lessons you need for your journey. It is important to remember that not all synchronicities will lead you to a place that you consciously want to be.
However, by following those synchronicities you learn new lessons that are beneficial to you in the long run although at first it may seem you have made an unwise move. For example, you have been pondering the idea of opening your own business but feel you don’t have the experience or the resources to make it work so you don’t make any plans to move ahead with your idea. At the same time you are not happy in your current job and desperately want to leave. 
All of a sudden a synchronicity occurs, so you follow it into a new job that you believe will make you happy and you will gain more experience that may help you to open your own business later on. 

At first everything seems to be going along just fine when one day your boss comes in and tells you he is closing down the company and you no longer have a job. This causes you all manner of stress as you can’t find another job and you wish you had never quit your old job.  

However, since you have the time anyway, you begin to work towards setting up your own business while you continue to look for a new job but eventually you manage to start up your own business and after a lot of hard work, it pays off and you realize if it wasn’t for that initial synchronicity you wouldn’t be in the position you are today.

This is one example of a synchronicity leading you to a negative place before a positive one but in my experience I believe most synchronicities, if followed intuitively, tend to improve your position in life sooner rather than later.

Synchronicities are happening for most people on a daily basis but most of us are so tuned in to our problems and worried about the past or the future that we don’t recognize the synchronicities when they appear. Synchronicities are not only related to the law of attraction, they are also directly linked with the law of vibration.

Each individual vibrates at a certain level, the more positive and happy the person, the higher their level of vibration. Negative, unhappy or angry people usually reside on a lower vibrational frequency. With a positive outlook and an open mind your higher rate of vibration serves to manifest positive opportunities or synchronicities much faster than those vibrating on the lower frequencies.

Synchronicities are going to lead to a change that will transform your life. Often they are just a guide or like a warning bell to keep you on the right path and stop you from wandering into the abyss through a lack of focus. Dreams and premonitions which precede a synchronistic occurrence are usually positive examples of when you should take notice and follow them intuitively. 

At the moment a synchronicity occurs it is like the merging of a persons subjective and objective realities or in other words, when what had previously only been seen from inside your mind’s eye actually appears on the outside or in your physical reality.

Albert Einstein discovered with the law of relativity that everything in the universe is made of energy vibrating at different rates, the more dense the matter the slower the vibration. He equated and it has been proven scientifically that if everything in the universe is made up of energy, everything must in some way be connected. 

Synchronicity reveals how we are intrinsically connected to our seemingly dense material world through our conscious and subconscious thought patterns.
Our thoughts control our reality and the collective consciousness which we are all part of is like an organizing principle that brings us together through synchronistic experiences which help us all to evolve on both our physical and spiritual journey through eternity.

The bottom line here is, keep an eye out on a daily basis for even the tiniest of coincidences and know that what may seem insignificant at first glance could be a wonderful opportunity just waiting for you to take action. It could be the synchronicity that leads you to the place you’ve always wanted to be. So maybe dreams really do come true.

Video links: 

- Ariel Murphy

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Lady and Two Whales

It is said that people, be they real or fictional will do anything in the name of love. Romeo and Juliet made a death pact. Lancelot and Guenevere defied King Arthur and Camelot. Edward VIII turned his back on the throne of England to marry Wallis Simpson. And there's the lady who swam naked in freezing waters because she loves whales.

Natasha Navseenko, a Russian scientist and diver, dove into the White Sea, Northwest of Russia to tame two Beluga whales, named Matrena and Nilma. She swam au naturel because the whales are believed to be sensitive to anything artificial like fibers in clothing. Nevermind that the waters were minus 1.5 degrees centigrate. Natasha used yoga principles to withstand the cold.

Below are photos of Natasha and the Belugas.  I also provided a link to a dated news article about the story of Natasha and the whales. I thought that the unusual act of plunging naked into icy waters paled in significance compared to that  of training the Belugas while in captivity.







Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gallery: Photography of Dieter Besier

Social networks are a veritable gold mine. For me an important find are nuggets of beauty as seen from the eyes of another. Today, I am honored to share with you the photography of Dieter Besier, a Google+ friend.


Here's what Dieter Besier says of himself: "I love to play with words and pictures. With them I plunge into the tension of life to get an amazing energy out of it. I try to replace the cause-effect view of life with an associative perception.

Photography is a creative game for me to capture poetic moments and to connect them with words.

I used to live and work as a Protestant pastor in Berlin, which for me is an  exciting place that is full of power and spirit.  

Now I live at the Baltic coast. I enjoy the freedom of life and the beauty of nature. The sea, wind and the wide landscape and also my Berlin experiences give me inspiration for writing, photography, meditation and spirituality -- all of which are of utmost importance to me."
 - Ariel Murphy 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Car Accident

I was in a car accident yesterday.  Nobody was hurt but the front of my car was severely damaged.  After recovering from the initial shock, I thought of phoning friends for help.  Then I decided I didn't want to bother anybody and handled my mishap myself.
After riding in a tow truck that took my car to a repair shop, I went home thankful that I was safe and did what must be done instead of panicking.
I vowed to get a thick-bodied armored vehicle next time I can afford to buy another car.

- Ariel Murphy

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Stinking Flower in Hawaii

There is a flower in Hawaii that stinks. Below are a picture and a description of the plant provided by Bruce Fisher of Hawaii-Aloha Travel. Links to more information about the plant are also shown below.
If a plant is called "Stinky", you might want to be on guard. This bloom is as rare as it is unforgettable.
The Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens on the island of Hawaii announced the rare flowering of an Amorphophallus titanum today. The common name of the plant is far more colorful: it is known as the Corpse plant. The zoo press release explains that is "due to its distinctive odor when in full bloom. This "fragrance" resembles rotting meat, to attract carrion feeding beetles and Flesh Flies that pollinate it."
For some reason, people want to see (and, presumably, smell) this plant. They are excited at the appearance of "the world's largest un-branched inflorescence (flower)." They've been waiting for awhile. The zoo has two Corpse plants that were donated by artist Hiroshi Tagami nine years ago. They were about two years old then, so this is a once in 11 years occurrence.
The distinctive bloom is six feet in height and "is located next to the feral pig and across from the large mixed parrot aviary."
I could not make this up. I have smelled pigs and from the description of the Corpse plant, swine would be an improvement in aroma.
Just in case you're on the Big Island of Hawaii any time soon and want to experience the bloom in person, the Pana'ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens is open daily from 9-4 except Christmas and New Year's Day. I think this is one unique Hawaii flower I'll be happy to experience vicariously.

Source: Bruce Fisher